Boston suspect makes rare court appearance
BOSTON, United States – Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made his first public appearance in 17 months Thursday, December 18, walking in court for a final hearing before his trial begins January 5.
Wearing a black sweater and gray pants, the 21-year-old with shaggy hair and beard took his place in the US federal court in Boston without uttering a word.
Seats in the gallery reserved for victims of the April 15, 2013 double bombings and their relatives were packed.
Tsarnaev faces the death penalty for the attacks, which were the most serious in the United States since the 9/11 Al-Qaeda hijackings killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
In July 2013, he pleaded not guilty to 30 charges, which include conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and bombing a public place resulting in death.
Held at Fort Devens prison hospital around 44 miles (70 kilometers) from Boston, he was not previously seen in public since entering his not guilty plea.
Two pressure cooker bombs planted at the marathon's finish line killed three people and wounded 264, plunging the world-famous sporting event into mourning and reviving domestic fears of terrorism.
Tsarnaev's trial is due to begin on January 5 with jury selection, and Thursday's hearing is the last to wrap up the final details.
He and his older brother Tamerlan alone are accused of planting the bombs in back packs near the finish line of the marathon.
Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police as the pair tried to escape the Boston area several days later. An injured Dzhokhar was captured while hiding in a boat parked in a suburban backyard. – Rappler.com